Local anti-abortion activists defended their use of graphic images of aborted fetuses on Baltimore’s busiest streets Thursday afternoon, saying the pictures provide a face to a glamorized practice.
“The images cut through the rhetoric,” said Chrissy Walsh. “Those that support abortion hide behind the term ‘pro-choice.’ They don’t want the country to ask itself what they are choosing.”
The argument about whether pro-life activists should use graphic images, or sometimes even actual fetuses, in their protests have gone on for some time. This article doesn't give much detail about what these activists were actually doing so it's hard to analyze their specific acts.
It does give me an opportunity to discuss my view on the subject. There's no doubt that abortion activists tend to describe the process in as clinical manner as possible to try to remove the natural emotional reactions we feel regarding children. Many people, when faced with graphic descriptions or images of the process reconsider their position. Graphic images do make a difference.
Of course, so do sonograms. I've seen many stories about how the more modern sonograms have convinced women who were considering abortions to change their minds. They simply made it impossible to think of what they were carrying as anything other than a child.
I don't think there's any doubt that the major reason abortion activists object to graphic images in protests is that they work. That being said, it doesn't necessarily follow that it's a great idea. There's no doubt that there's also a percentage of the population who will only be offended and will immediately turn you off.
Graphic images can certainly have a place in protests, but they are not a tool that should be used in all circumstances. I worry that some activists use them purely for shock value without any thought given to whether they are the best tool for the given circumstance.